Floyd Landis: A man of deity to disgrace

Landis, an American cyclist, was competing in the Tour de France in 2006 and was a long way back on stage 16. Nonetheless, he miraculously returned in the next round. This is when the first allegations of doping surfaced. Doping and cycling were not synonymous back then, and the usage of any kind of steroid was quite unusual. Landis’ urine results, however, came back three times higher than the amount of testosterone in his body, indicating that he was doping. Despite the fact that the controversy was already significant, it revealed a great number of other cyclists who had used steroids or some other form of performance-enhancing substance. There is evidence to suggest that Landis’ positive test was the consequence of one or more blood transfusions given to him during that year’s Tour. This could explain why Landis’ testosterone levels were not detected at early rounds of the race and only became positive after the notorious Stage 17 breakaway.

Landis’ doping charge was upheld by an American Arbitration Association tribunal by a 2-1 vote on September 20, 2007. Landis received a two-year suspension as a result of his actions. Landis agreed not to race in France in 2007 so that a hearing on his case could be postponed as long as possible. The French Anti-Doping Agency judged him guilty of doping on December 19, 2007, and imposed him a two-year sanction, preventing him from racing in France until early 2009.

Landis appealed the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the verdict. On June 20, 2008, he was unsuccessful in his appeal.  Landis filed a motion in federal court in September 2008, claiming that the CAS arbitration verdict was tainted by bias and conflicts of interest throughout its procurement. Landis and the USADA decided to terminate the lawsuit with prejudice in December 2008, leading some to conclude that the USADA waived the $100,000 fine in exchange for the end of the litigation. Regardless of the reasons for dismissal, the case is now closed and closed.

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